Report of Capt. John J. Bradley, Quartermaster, 14th U. S. Infantry.
THE CROCKER SCHOOL DEPOT,
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith the following report, covering the period from May 4, 1906, to June 30, 1906, inclusive. This report includes the report submitted on May 31, in accordance with the instructions of the division commander of that date.
On May 3, 1906, in accordance with Special Orders, No. 48, headquarters Pacific Division, Presidio, San Francisco, I was assigned to duty at division headquarters with station in this city and to report at once to Maj. C. A. Devol, depot quartermaster, for assignment.
Under provisions of paragraph IV, General Orders, No. 18, headquarters Pacific Division, Presidio, San Francisco, April 29, 1906, provision was made for the establishment of a depot for handling supplies, other than food, and the filling of requisitions for such supplies, after approval by Major Febiger, Doctor Devine, or other duly authorized official. Pending the selection of an officer for this position, Major Devol was put in charge of this work.
Having been selected by Major Devol to take charge of the clothing depot to be established, I received from him the following instructions, conveyed to me by telegram on the night of May 3:
You are detailed in charge of a large store for the reception and issue of contributions of clothing, shoes, etc., from all sources. Have just secured the Crocker School, at 1111 Page street. Will begin sending stores at once. To-morrow Mr. Pollok, Doctor Devine's associate on the finance committee, will be there about 9 o'clock to put you in full touch with the whole scheme. Will have men there to handle goods, also clean up schoolhouse. Please get over there as early as possible in the morning.
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U. S. A., retired; also the furniture and books belonging to the school; this furniture was being removed from the various schoolrooms and gathered together on the fourth floor by the school authorities. It has remained untouched by anyone connected with this depot.
About 9 o'clock Mr. Allen Pollok, chairman of the supervising committee, appeared and informed me that this building was to be used for the reception, storage, and issue of all supplies, Red Cross and relief, that were then in San Francisco or en route thereto, except food and medical supplies. He proceeded to effect an organization of civilians who were familiar with handling dry goods, clothing, furniture, etc., assisted by three civilians, Messrs. Hecht, Gerstle, and Ramsdell, whom he designated as the advisory committee to assist me in organizing this force of employees. This force was to be sufficient to properly handle the incoming goods, distribute them to departments, and prepare for the filling of approved requisitions from the seven districts into which the city had been divided. Accordingly, a receiving and shipping department was established; also nine other departments for the reception of men's clothing and hats, women's clothing and hats, children's clothing and hats, men's furnishings and underwear, women's furnishings and underwear, children's underwear, boots and shoes for men, women, and children, bedding, furniture, and household goods. All these departments were put in charge of civilians selected by Mr. Pollok and his three associates on the advisory committee. Mr. Pollok authorized the payment of wages to all employees and in such number as was necessary to prepare the goods, then being received, for distribution on the following Monday morning, May 7, 1906. He also authorized the employment of a cook and assistants for the feeding of the civilians employed in handling all goods received, incurring such expenses as might be necessary for the proper feeding of these people from the relief stores on hand in the building and for the purchase of milk and ice. On May 4 about 60 people were thus fed; on May 5, about 100 people, and on May 6, 100 people. This was kept up for a period of one week, when breakfast and dinner were dispensed with and only luncheon was served.
On May 5 Dr. Edward T. Devine appeared at my office and approved the system inaugurated by Mr. Pollok and his associates on the advisory committee. He requested that a specific statement covering expenses be submitted as soon as practicable to Mr. Pollok.
Doctor Devine's instructions to me were given in the presence of Mr. Pollok, and are as follows:
At the Crocker building. 1111 Page street, will be established a consolidated clothing bureau for the reception and distribution of all clothing and other supplies intended for the relief of the people in San Francisco. Capt. John J. Bradley, quartermaster, 14th Infantry, will be in charge and control of this consolidated clothing bureau. All requisitions for clothing on the consolidated clothing bureau are to be approved by Mr. Allen Pollok, Dr. Edward T. Devine, purchasing agents, or by one of the Red Cross chairmen of the seven sections into which the city has been divided by General Orders, No. 18, headquarters Pacific Division. For the present, individual applications for clothing can not be received at this depot, but must be dealt with in the sections in which the individuals are living. Each section is establishing a local depot from which clothing will be distributed, and the same will be delivered under the direction of the Red Cross chairmen in the several sections. All freight and express consigned to Dr. Edward T. Devine or to the National Red Cross
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Society or to Mrs. A. M. Curtis as the representative of the Red Cross should be received by the depot quartermaster and delivered to the subsistence warehouse and to the consolidated clothing bureau, established at the Crocker School depot. This understanding has already been reached between General Greely and myself and is acceptable to the Red Cross. If there are individual parcels intended for private individuals, addressed in the care of Mrs. Curtis or myself, these parcels, so far as is practicable, shall be separated and delivered to the persons for whom they are intended. Packages that are intended for general relief, and which can not be delivered to individuals, will be turned over to the consolidated clothing bureau to handle as are other relief stores.
As the California branch of the Red Cross is distinctive, I will get definite instructions from Mrs. J. F. Merrill, the first vice-president, authorizing the delivery to the United States officer in charge of the consolidated clothing bureau, at the Crocker School building, goods evidently intended for the relief of San Francisco.
Capt. John J. Bradley is authorized to receive, store, and issue all clothing and other supplies brought to the Crocker School, addressed to the National Red Cross Society or to myself or to any other representative of the National Red Cross Society. Major Devol will be asked to supply clothing from the consolidated clothing bureau to the warehouse designated by the Red Cross chairmen.
Doctor Devine authorized me to employ whatever force was necessary, but to reduce same to the lowest number practicable as soon as possible.
These instructions of Doctor Devine were subsequently confirmed in paragraph 1, General Orders, No. 24, headquarters Pacific Division, Presidio, San Francisco, Cal., May 7, 1906. All work in connection with the operations of this consolidated clothing bureau has been performed by this force in accordance with the above authority.
Mr. Pollok informed me that the employees would be paid by the finance committee at the Hamilton School. At the end of the first week, May 12, he sent me time checks and notifications, which were made out under my direction and certified to by me and sent to Mr. Pollok. Upon presentation of these time checks the men received the amount due them from the finance committee at the Hamilton School. This amount was $1,436.85. For the second week—from May 13 to May 19—it was $963.10; for the third week—from May 20 to May 26—it was $952.25, and from May 27 to May 31, $599.70, making a total of $3,951.90.
For the purpose of receiving and distributing relief stores, consisting of all kinds of goods other than food and medical supplies, nine departments were organized as follows:
These departments are under the charge of experienced clerks, who are familiar with the handling of these goods.
Receiving and shipping departments were also established. All issues from this depot have been made on requisitions properly approved by the civilian chairmen of the civil sections, by Doctor Devine, Mr. Pollok, and such as have been specially authorized by
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the division commander. Each requisition is acted on by me and, after approval, sent to the requisition clerk, who makes from this department requisitions covering the articles required. These department requisitions are then sent to the department managers and filled out with goods, as far as the stock permits. As soon as the department requisitions are filled they are sent to the shipping clerk, who enters them on shipping receipts in triplicate. The goods are then loaded upon wagons and sent to destination under care of mounted enlisted men, furnished for this purpose. Receipts for each requisition were taken from these enlisted men and also from the persons to whom the goods were delivered. This method has been pursued from the beginning and still continues.
All goods received at this school have been received by the receiving clerk, with daily record of the number of the wagon, name of driver, character of package, so far as known, and by whom and from where shipped. During the first week of May contributed supplies and relief stores of all kinds were sent to this depot. These supplies consisted of donations of clothing, bedding, shoes, and medicines, addressed to various persons whose names had appeared in the public press as being connected with the relief work in this city. In a great many instances there was more than one name on the package, many packages had no name at all, and many others were addressed illegibly.
Owing to the vast quantities of second-hand clothing arriving, it was deemed advisable to separate the new from the old. Accordingly, on May 9 the Everett School, at Sixteenth and Sanchez streets, was obtained for the purpose of receiving, storing, and distributing supplies under the charge of Mrs. A. M. Curtis. A sufficient number of employees to receive, store, and distribute this second-hand clothing was authorized by Mr. Pollok.
During the month of May there were received at this depot 4,164 cases, 835 bales, and 325 packages or bundles of new clothing of all kinds, consisting of outer and under garments for men, women, and children, shoes and hats for same, 2,570 cots, 915 mattresses, 1,109 stoves, 616 tents complete, and 56 rolls of building paper. During this time there were received at this depot 1,077 cases or boxes, 10 barrels and 5 wagonloads of contributed second-hand Red Cross clothing, of which 12 cases were sent to the first section, 65 cases to the second section, 168 cases to the third section, 335 cases to the fourth section, 56 cases to the fifth section, 245 cases to the sixth section, 166 cases to the seventh section, 50 cases to fraternal organizations, and 180 cases, 10 barrels, and 5 wagonloads to the Everett School.
My supervision and control over the Everett School remained until May 12, when Capt. Robert Field, 5th Infantry, was placed in charge. From that date any second-hand clothing received at this depot was sent to the Everett School, and any new clothing received at the Everett School was brought to the Crocker School depot. From May 9 to May 12 at the Everett School there was paid in wages, upon certified time checks, $418.
Under provisions of section 2, General Orders, No. 24, headquarters Pacific Division, the authority of Major Febiger to approve requisitions on this depot was revoked. Under date of May 23, division commander informed me that he had notified officers previously
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authorized to issue orders on this depot to discontinue that practice, the time of emergency being past. Under date of May 30, the division commander ordered that thereafter no stores other than those addressed specifically to the Red Cross for relief general purposes should be delivered or received at this depot without specific instructions from division headquarters.
Owing to the rapidity of deliveries and the vast quantities of supplies received at this depot during the first two weeks of May, it was impossible to keep a record of boxes, bundles, or cases, and for whom intended. Individual packages were separated, as far as possible, and put aside and held until called for or shipped to destination. From May 16 a complete record has been kept at this depot of all goods received here. This record is inclosed and marked Exhibit A. Not received at the War Department with this report. For the first three weeks goods were delivered at this depot in a damaged condition. Boxes, parcels, and cases had been broken open and the contents of same disturbed and looted. It is impossible to say where this was done, whether in the railroad cars, in the railroad yards, or en route to this depot. There has also been further loss after goods had been received at this school, by employees and others, while handling the same. This loss has been kept down as far as was practicable by the employment of watchmen and the use of enlisted guards furnished me. What the loss has been it is not possible to determine. Considering the vast quantities of supplies received, it is my opinion that it has not been excessive.
A detail of nine mounted enlisted men has been furnished me daily for the purpose of safeguarding supplies after they have left this depot. No wagons have left the building without being under the direct control of one of these enlisted men. On June 28 I recommended that this cavalry detail be discontinued, which was done on the 30th. Since that date there has been sent with every wagonload of goods a watchman, whose special duty was to safeguard these supplies from this depot to the point of delivery. In addition to this detail a permanent guard of nine enlisted men from Company B, 14th Infantry, has been furnished.
On June 6 I was directed by the division commander to make arrangement to pay immediately from the army appropriation all amounts due laborers at the Crocker School depot, excepting those that had been discharged, in which cases time checks should stand and be paid by the finance committee. Since that time all employees have been paid from the army appropriation by Captain Simpson, Quartermaster's Department. In accordance with my request of June 11, 1906, authorization was issued from division headquarters for the payment of employees for services rendered at the Crocker School depot prior to June 3, 1906, who had not been paid by the finance committee.
The total expense of conducting this depot has been, from May 4 to May 31, $3,951.90; from June 1 to June 2, $299.80; from June 4 to June 9, $786.75; from June 11 to June 23, $1,475; from June 25 to June 30, $646; making a total from May 4 to June 30, 1906, $7,159.45.
During the month of May there have been sent out to section chairmen an average of 20 truckloads of new goods daily. During June this average has been 18 loads per day. Over 1,050 consolidated
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requisitions have been received and acted upon, besides many other special ones that have been sent here by Doctor Devine and others authorized by the division commander. All this work has been done under extraordinary conditions. For days there was not even a hand truck available to handle these cases, parcels, and boxes. After receiving these goods they had to be carried up from two to six flights of stairs, and when requisitions were filled carried down the same way. The facilities for handling, distributing, and delivering goods have been very poor, and this schoolhouse not adapted for the purpose for which used. The question of delivery of the goods to section chairmen was an important one. At first it was decided by Doctor Devine that these civilians should send their own wagons, which had been furnished for their use, for these requisitions. Almost immediately this was found to be impracticable, as they could not or would not obtain the transportation at the proper time. These filled requisitions, assembled on the main floor at the front entrance of the building, would not be taken away, thus interfering with the going out of other requisitions. At my request, Capt. Peter Murray, quartermaster, 18th Infantry, in charge of wagon transportation, ordered whatever wagons might be required by me to handle outgoing requisitions to report to me daily. From that time the deliveries were made more promptly and satisfactorily.
In acting upon approved requisitions it has been my policy to fill them as far as the stock in the building would permit. No discrimination was made in sending out requisitions, they being acted upon, as far as possible, in the order in which received by me. I have attempted no follow-up system. We supplied whatever goods possible, and they filed that requisition as having been completed. If any articles were not supplied on any particular requisition, no attempt was made to do so later. The shipping receipt would show exactly what was furnished on the requisition, thus enabling the section chairman to keep track of what he was receiving.
It has not been possible to know the value of the goods received and distributed at this depot. As with the goods received from personal and private donations, so with those received by way of purchase, this calamity has served the purpose of cleaning out old and dead stock and stock of mediocre and poor quality.
During the past sixty days many individuals—men, women, and children—have applied at this station for relief, claiming that they could not obtain it in the section of the city in which they lived, or else that they did not know where to apply. In many cases information was all that was necessary to enable them to get what they wanted. In several special and worthy cases I supplied the persons with what they needed. It would appear, from the experience of this depot, that not enough information has been given to the people as to the procedure necessary for them to follow to obtain relief clothing. Nor has there been a uniform system or sufficiently good system to insure the applicant getting what was necessary.
On May 5, Second Lieut. F. B. Kobes, battalion quartermaster and commissary, 14th Infantry, then on duty with Maj. Lea Febiger, was by the latter, at my request, ordered to report to me for duty. On June 2, 1906, these orders were confirmed by paragraph 2, Special Orders, No. 74, headquarters Pacific Division. During the past two months he has been in charge of all deliveries to and from this depot,
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transportation, and employees. He has performed the duties assigned him with ability and credit.
On May 24, First Lieut. A. S. Cowan, 14th Infantry, was at my request ordered by Major Devol, depot quartermaster, to report to me for duty. His services were required, owing to the disappearance of the advisory committee, who originally assisted me, and to the increasing amount of work. He has been in charge of the handling and filling of consolidated and individual requisitions and the disposition of individuals coming to this depot for supplies. He has performed this duty with tact and ability. Both these officers have materially assisted me in the management of this important depot.
The amount of goods distributed to the sections in the city, including outlying districts and individual cases, is shown in the accompanying report, marked Exhibit C. Not received at the War Department with this report.
On June 2, at a meeting of the relief commission, I was offered the position of superintendent of this clothing bureau, with a salary of $200 per month, payable from the relief funds. In a letter to Doctor Devine I declined the offer, giving as reasons therefor that I did not believe that army officers should accept pay for services rendered the civil authorities and also that I did not believe army officers should enter the fields of commercialism.
I was relieved from duty in this city by paragraph 10, Special Orders, No. 98, headquarters Pacific Division, 1906.
Report of Maj. Charles R. Krauthoff, Subsistence Department, United